First Virgin Atlantic flight lands at Ben-Gurion

At the end of the launch ceremony, the passengers received gift boxes in the iconic Virgin Atlantic-shade of red with a hamsa printed on it and the caption "Shalom Israel."

September 27, 2019 14:12
2 minute read.
First Virgin Atlantic flight lands at Ben-Gurion

A Virgin Atlantic plane prepares for its flight to Ben-Gurion Airport from Heathrow in London.. (photo credit: OFER LEVY)

British airline Virgin Atlantic's Heathrow-Ben-Gurion flight officially opened this week when the first Virgin Atlantic plane landed at 8:35 p.m. on Wednesday at Ben-Gurion Airport.

A launch ceremony was held at the gate in Heathrow before the flight, attended by the 300 passengers as well as senior Virgin officials Nick Baltas and Ofer Reinhardt. At the end of the ceremony, the passengers received gift boxes in the iconic Virgin Atlantic-shade of red with a hamsa printed on it and the caption "Shalom Israel." The box contained a pair of socks specially designed for the launch and two kinds of candy representing their two countries: Krembo, identified with Israel, and the popular British snack Tunnocks.

The airline, which has a fleet of 46 planes and flies around 5.5 million passengers each year, will service the Heathrow-Ben-Gurion line with the advanced Airbus A330-300. All passengers will enjoy flights catered to with free food and drink, over 300 hours of entertainment options, Wi-Fi at the price of 2.99 pounds and a USB jack. First class passengers will enjoy gourmet cuisine and a fully stocked full-service bar, inspired by the Israeli-London restaurant The Good Egg.

Virgin Atlantic flights leaving Ben-Gurion depart at 7:15 a.m. and land at Heathrow in the afternoon, allowing Israelis a wide range of options with connecting flights to over 30 destinations around the world. Price ranges for flights from Ben-Gurion to Heathrow range from $399 for economy class, $799 for business class and $1,379 for first class. Flights with Virgin Atlantic from Ben-Gurion to New York through Heathrow start at $630.

The airline first announced this new line back in February.

According to Virgin Atlantic World CEO Shai Weiss, "Tel Aviv as a destination represents a great opportunity for us – Israel's economy is thriving, and as one of the world's leading technology hubs, we expect many businessmen and entrepreneurs to use the new line. In addition, we recognize a significant opportunity to increase competition on the US-Tel Aviv line, using the power of our Atlantic Transatlantic Alliance with Delta, as we offer Tel Aviv passengers a wide range of US stops."

He added, "I am delighted to introduce this new destination to our customers in the UK as well for vacation and leisure. I have no doubt that this is a destination they will be happy to visit."

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